Growing gourmet and medical mushrooms

Paul Stamets. Growing gourmet and medical mushrooms. - Ten Speed Press, 2000


1. Mushrooms, Civilization and History

2. The Role of Mushrooms in Nature

3.Selecting a Candidate for Cultivation

4. Natural Culture: Creating Mycological Landscapes

5. The Stametsian Model: Permaculture with a Mycological Twist

6. Materials fo rFormulating a Fruiting Substrate

7. Biological Efficiency: An Expression of Yield

8. Home-made vs. Commercial Spawn

9. The Mushroom Life Cycle

10. The Six Vectors of Contamination

11. Mind and Methods for Mushroom Culture

12. Culturing Mushroom Mycelium on Agar Media

13. The Stock Culture Library: A Genetic Bank of Mushroom Strains

14. Evaluating a Mushroom Strain

15. Generating Grain Spawn

16. Creating Sawdust Spawn

17. Growing Gourmet Mushrooms on Enriched Sawdust

18. Cultivating Gourmet Mushrooms on Agricultural Waste Products

19. Cropping Containers

20. Casing: A Topsoil Promoting Mushroom Formation

21. Growth Parameters for Gourmet and Medicinal Mushroom Species

Spawn Run: Colonizing the Substrate

Primordia Formation: The Initiation Strategy

Fruitbody (Mushroom) Development

The Gilled Mushrooms

The Polypore Mushrooms of the Genera Ganoderma, Grifola and Polyporus

The Lion’s Mane of the Genus Hericium

The Wood Ears of the Genus Auricularia

The Morels: Land-Fish Mushrooms of the Genus Morchella

The Morel Life Cycle

22. Maximizing the Substrate’s Potential through Species Sequencing

23. Harvesting, Storing, and Packaging the Crop for Market

24. Mushroom Recipes: Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labors

25. Cultivation problems & Their Solutions: A Troubleshoting guide


I. Description of Environment for a Mushroom Farm

II. Designing and Building A Spawn Laboratory

III. The Growing Room: An Environment for Mushroom Formation & Development

IV. Resource Directory

V. Analyses of Basic Materials Used in Substrate Preparation

VI. Data Conversion Tables




peroxidases and cellulases which have
unusually powerful degradative properties.
These extracellular enzymes have evolved to
break down plant fiber, primarily lignin-cellulose, the structural component in woody
plants, into simpler forms. By happenstance,
these same enzymes also reduce recalcitrant
hydrocarbons and other man-made toxins.

Given the number of industrial pollutants that

are hydrocarbon-based, fungi are excellent
candidates for toxic waste clean-up and are
viewed by scientists and government agencies with increasing interest. Current and
prospective future uses include the detoxification of PCB (polychiorolbiphenols), PCP
(pentachlorophenol), oil, pesticide/herbicide
residues, and even are being explored for
ameliorating the impact of radioactive
Bioremediation of toxic waste sites is especially attractive because the environment is
treated in situ. The contaminated soils do not
have to be hauled away, eliminating the extraordinary expense of handling, transportation, and storage. Since these fungi have the
ability to reduce complex hydrocarbons into
elemental compounds, these compounds

pose no threat to the environment. Indeed,
these former pollutants could even be considered as "fertilizer", helping rather than
harming the nutritional base of soils.
Dozens of bioremediation companies have

formed to solve the problem of toxic waste.
Most of these companies look to the imper-

fect fungi The higher fungi should not be
disqualified for bioremediation just because
they produce fruitbody. Indeed, this group
may hold answers to many of the toxic waste

The most vigorous rotters de-

scribed in this book are the Ganoderina and


Pleurotus mushrooms. However, mushrooms
grown from toxic wastes are best not eaten as
residual toxins may be concentrated within
the mushrooms.

Mushroom Mycelium and
The mycelium is fabric of interconnected,
interwoven strands of cells. A colony can be
the size of a half-dollar or many acres. A cu-

bic inch of soil can host up to a mile of
myceium. This organism can be physically
separated, and yet behave as one.

The exquisite lattice-like structure of the
mushroom mycelium, often referred to as the
mycelial network, is perfectly designed as a

filtration membrane. Each colony extends
long, complex chains of cells that fork repeatedly in matrix-like fashion, spreading to
geographically defined borders. The mushroom

mycelium, being a voracious forager for carbon and nitrogen, secretes extracellular
enzymes that unlock organic complexes. The
newly freed nutrients are then selectively absorbed directly through the cell walls into the
mycelial network.

In the rainy season, water carries nutritional particles through this filtration membrane, including bacteria, which often be-

come a food source for the mushroom
mycelium. The resulting downstream effluent
is cleansed of not only carbon/nitrogen-rich

compounds but also bacteria, in some cases
nematodes, and legions of other micro-organisms. Only recently has the classic
saprophyte, the voracious Oyster mushroom,
been found to be parasitic against nematodes.
(See Thorn & Barron, 1984). The extracellular enzymes act like an anesthetic and stun
the nematodes, thus allowing the invasion of

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